Michael Corballis was born in Marton, New Zealand, and received a university education at Canterbury University College, Victoria University College, and the University of Auckland, graduating with separate masters degrees in mathematics and psychology. He then proceeded to McGill University in Montreal, Canada, where he graduated with a PhD in psychology, and taught psychology there for a further ten years before returning to Auckland as Professor of Psychology in 1978.
He has published extensively on the psychology of cognition, especially perception, memory, brain asymmetry, and language, with increasing emphasis on brain function and evolution. His awards include the Shorland Medal of the NZ Association of Scientists in 1999, Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) in 2002, and the Rutherford Medal of the Royal Society of New Zealand in 2016. His most recent book is The Truth About Language, published in 2017, and his books have been translated into ten languages.
He is now Emeritus Professor at the University of Auckland, and is occupied mainly in writing, giving occasional lectures, and struggling with difficult crossword puzzles.